The More I Know About Joe Biden the Less I Like Him
They call him “No Drama” Obama for a reason. During the eight years that Obama was president, we did not need to stay awake at night worrying that the world would soon end due to the incompetence, evil and arrogance of the leader of the most powerful man in the world because the president was not evil or incompetent.
Oh sure, he was arrogant but he had plenty to be arrogant about. He was an actual very stable genius, a man of humble origins who became the popular, Nobel Prize-winning, two-term first black President of the United States.
Trump’s presidency is a never-ending shock to the system, on an individual and institutional level. Each new day brings some fresh new attack on human decency and democratic norms. It’s a far cry from the halcyon days of the Obama administration, when you could ignore the president for years, confident that he was doing his job and doing it well, not trying to whip the populace into a Fascist frenzy.
I didn’t have to think about Obama the way I am forced to think about Trump. That means I spent even less time thinking about Joe Biden, his Vice President. My feelings about the former VP were not particularly intense but they used to be largely positive. He benefitted tremendously from his status as Obama’s goofy sidekick, a grinning, joking exemplar of old school masculinity whose glad-handing familiarity made Obama less scary to blue-collar white voters.
I even assumed, perhaps naively, that if Biden had run for President in 2016 he would have beaten Donald Trump soundly, thereby sparing us the nightmare of a Trump presidency.
Yes, I had positive feelings about Joe Biden. Then he started running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and those positive feelings quickly and dramatically turned negative.
The more I know about Biden, the less I like him. He’s run a spectacularly bad campaign, clumsy, tone-deaf and lumbering. It’s a campaign that has inadvertently shined a light on his shortcomings as a politician and human being when it’s supposed to be convincing a fickle populace of his strengths.
I am deeply unimpressed by the contemporary Biden bumbling and stumbling his way through a race whose stakes seemingly could not get any higher. But I am even less impressed by the man Biden used to be. His record is a goddamn Pandora’s Box: open it at your own peril because all sorts of awful shit will fly out at you.
There are a whole lot of black men in jail unnecessarily for bullshit marijuana and get-tough-on-crime laws Biden helped put on the books. The 2019 Biden, a man who will be deep into his eighties in his second term should he get elected and then re-elected, still insists that marijuana is a dangerous gateway drug even after half the Republican Party has gotten on the legalize pot bandwagon now that it’s halfway socially acceptable and there is a fuck ton of money to be made from it.
Biden’s closet is full of skeletons, from the way he handled the Anita Hill proceedings to his stance against bussing. At a time when the Democratic Party is tilting more heavily towards Socialism than at any point since the glory days of FDR and the New Deal Biden feels depressingly like a moderate Republican, Trump lite.
Biden’s ostensible appeal has always been that he’s super famous and popular with the sacred racist white voters the Democrats must appeal to in order to win in 2020 (or at least that seems to be the thinking) but the more Biden embarrasses himself and struggles to articulate a coherent and persuasive message, the less certain, or even probable, a Biden presidential victory seems.
Elizabeth Warren radiates competence and enthusiasm and steely confidence. Biden is running like a doddering granddad who expects the nomination to be handed to him at the end of the race, as a reward for his decades of service, like it’s a goddamn gold watch at a retirement party. I have no doubt that Biden would do a mediocre to shitty job as president, that he would be oily and pragmatic and work in the best interests of corporations and oligarchs and the established social order.
Also, in 2016 Trump ran on the idea that eight years of hardcore Maoism from Obama-Biden had nearly destroyed our nation and by extension, the world, and that only he, a proud capitalist who actually loved America rather than hated it, could save our nation from the brink of Marxist annihilation even though Obama was exceedingly popular. That tactic was disgustingly successful when employed against a Secretary of State in the Obama administration. I imagine it will be even more successful against Biden.
The conventional wisdom seems to be that Biden isn’t the best candidate (far from it) but the candidate most likely to win. To me, Biden is closer to the worst Democratic candidate for president than the best. I also don’t think he would win.
That’s why I’m voting for Elizabeth Warren. She’s the best candidate and I think she has a good chance of winning. She’s what we need right now, not musty, arrogant, clueless Joe.
Will I vote for Joe Biden if he’s the nominee? Of course. I would vote for Lyndon LaRouche if he got the Democratic nomination and he died in February but I sincerely hope that we’re not put in a position where we have to choose between the worst candidate ever in Trump, and a depressingly limp contender in Biden.
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